Istanbul: Memories of a City by Orhan Pamuk

David Flusfeder in The Telegraph:

The Turkish word for melancholy is hüzün; in Pamuk’s view, the city is soaked with the stuff, and so are its writers: “For the poet, hüzün is the smoky window between him and the world.” Istanbul is a black and white city, Pamuk says, and in this combination of memoir and sad urban love letter the pages are illustrated with dozens of rather beautiful black and white photographs, whose romantic purpose is to allow the foreign reader to experience the same pangs as the city’s inhabitants. In the ruins of Ottoman greatness, there now stands “a pale, poor, second-class imitation of a Western city”, where only the mosques and the packs of wild dogs survive from the city visited by rapt or disgusted Orientalists a century and a half ago.

More here.